Is a toaster oven, a toaster, or an oven? This kitchen appliance may seem too small for any form of cooking, but it is a very useful appliance. Whether you enjoy sinking your teeth into crispy slices of toast for breakfast or savoury roasted chicken for dinner, a toaster oven can help you whip up delicious meals quickly. Here’s what a toaster oven does and what you should look for when shopping for one.
What is a Toaster Oven?
Toaster ovens are used in many households despite their small size. They are smaller versions of a conventional oven that can cook just like one, but in a shorter amount of time and with lower energy consumption.
Due to its small capacity, a toaster oven can only toast at most four slices of bread at a time. However, their fold-down doors allow many types of food to be easily placed inside. Their size also allows you to use them in small kitchens.
How Does a Toaster Oven Work?
Toaster ovens use quick response heating elements to cook food using radiant heat transfer, convection or conduction. Many of them may also include convection coils to enable convection cooking, which involves the circulation of hot air or radiant heat within the toaster oven to create an even temperature, speeding up the cooking process.
What to Look For in a Toaster Oven?
Standard size cooking equipment, such as baking pans and broiler trays, cannot fit into a toaster oven. If you enjoy cooking different types of dishes that require the right cooking equipment, you will need to find a toaster oven sold with a variety of equipment and accessories made to its specifications. Some manufacturers sell a complete set of grill racks, baking trays, crumb trays, and even a rotisserie spit for meat and poultry.
2. Advanced Heating Elements
Toaster ovens typically contain one or two heating elements that brown and cook food on both sides or at the top and bottom, which can cause uneven cooking. To ensure even cooking, look for models with multiple heat settings. For example, top heating, bottom heating, top heating with spit, and top and bottom heating with circulating air.
3. Size & Space
Most toaster ovens are compact and can fit nicely into small kitchens. However, for safety reasons, refrain from squeezing the toaster oven into tiny spaces and ensure that the size you buy allows an amount of clearance between the appliance and the rest of the items in your kitchen. If you have a large family with a need for bigger toaster ovens, you can find models that come in sizes of 38 litres or 42 litres.
4. User-Friendly Functions
Although having a variety of settings and adjustments allows for more precise cooking, it can make the toaster oven overly complex and difficult to use. If you prefer to keep things as simple as possible, consider getting one with only a dual-dial control. Other types have three to four dial controls at most, but they are also easy to use.
5. Other Good-to-Have Features
Some other features you may want to consider include a double glass door toaster oven with a removable inner glass for easy cleaning or timer features for more precise cooking and alert feature to let you know when your food is done.
Toaster ovens are extremely versatile and easy to use. The types of food you can cook with them are limitless, making them the ideal kitchen appliance for your home. Most of them possess similar features, with slight differences in size and function, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the wrong one.
Shop a range of toaster ovens at Harvey Norman Singapore.